Five stops for KL-Singapore rail

The Star, February 21, 2013

Five towns in Malaysia have been earmarked as “stop stations” in the initial plan for the proposed high-speed rail link connecting Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

These towns are Seremban in Negri Sembilan; Ayer Keroh in Malacca; and Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha.

The proposed project, which would see travel time between the two capitals cut to just 90 minutes, was expected to attract development to these areas, he said.

“There are many ways of financing this project but so far, no figure (of the initial investment) has been mentioned.

“These matters still need to be worked out and we look forward to working with Singapore in this project,” Kong told reporters after attending a Chinese New Year gathering at the ministry here on Wednesday.

“Most of the (rail link) will be (built) above ground,” he said, declining to reveal when the project was expected to take off.

On Tuesday, Malaysia and Singapore had jointly announced their agreement to build a high-speed rail link between the city state and Kuala Lumpur, estimated to be completed by 2020.

Currently, travel time between the two capitals is five hours of driving and seven hours by rail.

Both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong had described the speed-link project as a “game changer”.

Najib said the high-speed rail link would be built via a public-private partnership with strong government participation.

The two countries also agreed on a rapid transit system linking Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit system with Johor Baru.

Lee said Malaysia and Singapore had 12 months to decide on whether to build a bridge or an undersea tunnel between the two countries for the rapid transit system link.